Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: International Racing: Sha Tin Best Bets Sunday 1 September

International Racing: Sha Tin Best Bets Sunday 1 September

Jockeys Race Horses on Turf

The Winning Form Team bring you all of their best bets and tips for Sha Tin's racing on Sunday 1 September 2019.

A South African flair seems to be an ever-increasing component of the Hong Kong racing community, now that four South African born riders will feature prominently over the course of this season. Lyle Hewitson, Aldo Domeyer, Chad Schofield and Grant van Niekerk will be picking up rides in Hong Kong over the next 6-12 months.

That will depend on their contracts, with Domeyer and Hewitson contracted until February 2020, while van Niekerk and Schofield have been granted season-long agreements. Another prominent jockey with South African credentials is Karis Teetan, the Mauritian born rider who was more than just a successful graduate of the South African Jockey Academy, just over a decade ago. It will be interesting to see how all five talented riders fair over the coming months.



Best Bet: Wishful Thinker (Race 3 / Number 1)
Value Bet: Mr Croissant (Race 7 / Number 6)

Race 1

Selection: 3 – 7 – 1 – 9 – 4

We start off the season opener with this Class 5 event, over a mile. GOOD RUNNERS WAY looks to be the likely winner here, to notch up his maiden victory. His last three outings have implied an affinity for the Sha Tin course, since dropping into this class. He put in a sound effort last time over the 1800m and found traffic at crucial times, in both starts prior to that. He appears to have the 1 and 8 held on that run behind Indigenous Star and with Zac Purton up today, he gets the nod. PROUD SKY was making late progress last time out over the 1800m, when having to check at the 550m. He should enjoy this drop back to the mile, having been just off them in both attempts over the course and distance and with Teetan up today, he looks a threat. GOLD VELVET is another with a useful course and distance record to his name. He has finished off both of his last two starts with firm intent and could just give newcomer Lyle Hewitson a finish in the money, on his Hong Kong debut. ROMANTIC JOURNEY has started to show signs of a big run since dropping in the ratings and he lands a much-improved draw today. He finished in front of the 7 and 8 in his last start and if repeating that effort, he looks a potential place finisher.

Race 2

Selection: 5 – 7 – 1 – 3 – 12

There will be plenty of early speed in this second event on the card, with both of RICHCITY FORTUNE and LEISURED FEET both having plenty of early toe, so the pace should be on. HARBOUR CENTURY has dropped in the ratings and showed good improvement last time out, when lining up for the first time in this class of opposition. That run came over this course and distance, after having to overcome two very tough draws in both of his prior two starts over seven furlongs. He has all of the 7, 8, 12 and 13 held on that last effort and with Schofield retaining the ride, he looks the one to beat. NEVER BETTER finished just behind the top selection last time out, when showing plenty of heart to overcome a tricky draw before rallying late on. He has an even tougher draw to negate today, but with Purton up he may just find the luck he needs to feature prominently. BLADE RACER drops to this class after making a marked improvement on his course debut last time out, over this trip. He had a very tough draw to overcome in that run and he just tired late on that occasion, having had to commit early on. He drops further in the ratings here and lands a much-improved draw this time around, so don’t discount his chances. CURLING LUXURY makes his class debut having dropped in the ratings and from pole position, the four-time winner could make the necessary improvement to have a say in this weaker class.

Race 3

Selection: 1 – 5 – 7 – 2 – 6

The third race of the night happens to be the first feature of the season, the class 1 HKSAR CHIEF EXECUTIVES’S CUP, a handicap over 1200m. The top-weighted WISHFUL THINKER is outright selection to take the lion's share of the prize money here. He showed good improvement last time out over the course and distance, after a modest penultimate run in Gr1 company on Dubai World Cup night behind Blue Point. He loves this trip and having bumped some solid opposition to notch up his 6 career wins from 16 starts, we make him the one to claim 1st prize here. REGENCY LEGEND is unbeaten in his three starts so far, with all three wins coming over this course and distance. He is cruising through the divisions and faces his toughest opposition yet, but Purton retains the ride and he must be considered a danger. STYLING CITY has been just off them in his last few starts and he drops back to the 6 furlongs for this run, a trip where he has featured prominently but is yet to win. He clearly enjoyed setting the fractions in his last start which suggests he will love this drop in trip from a very useful draw. With Moreira up, he must go in. SEASONS BLOOM jumps from pole today, after mounting his challenge from off the pace last time out. He was not disgraced in his penultimate start in Gr1 company, having finished 4th over the mile. He drops back to the 1200m today, a trip where he has won and placed in just two starts and although this appears to be a prep run for later on this season, he looks a threat.

Race 4 

Selection: 3 – 8 – 10 – 7 - 9

There appears to be plenty of proponents for a strong early pace in this 4th event on the card and NICE FANDANGO may be obliged to commit from gate 13. He does enjoy setting the early fractions and it appears to be his only option here. With that said, runners with a preference for sitting just off the speed should have all the aces. CALIFORNIA GUNGHO showed up well last time over this trip, when taking an unfortunate bump at the start. That was after dropping into this class of opposition and he drops even further in the ratings today. He does have a tricky draw to overcome, but that is not something that he should be too concerned about considering his above-average gate-speed. With Domeyer up, he should be right there at the finish. BLASTOISE has put forward two solid efforts so far. He finished just behind the 1 last time out, having found some traffic at the start but he showed enough initiative late on to finish a respectable fifth. He is the type of horse with plenty of scope and further improvement is expected here. LUCKY GUY has been dropping in the ratings for some time now and he seems to be on the up. The removal of the blinkers may also be a contributing factor to his improved effort last time, over this course and distance. In both of his last two starts he has found traffic in-running but has managed to regather himself enough to exert a fast finish. He is once again drawn in the box seat and should be right there when it matters most. MASTER ROMAN showed good improvement when stepping up to this trip last time out. He drops in the ratings for this run and the lightly raced son of Holy Roman Emperor should still have plenty of scope for further improvement and must be considered here. 

Race 5

Selections: 2 – 7 – 10 – 11 – 13

PEARL CHAMPION gets the nod for first after that eye-catching turn of foot he displayed in his most recent outing, when jumping from a wide gate. He was reported to have had blood in his trachea post-race and that certainly enhances the credibility of that particular effort. He has improved with each of his last few starts and if maintaining that upward curve as far as form is concerned, he looks the one to side with here. CHIU CHOW KID was another fast finisher last time out, when having to ease early on before rallying wide in the latter stages. That was an improved effort when dropping down in trip to this course and distance and a repeat of that run should bring him into the frame. BULLISH GLORY drops in trip and lands a slightly improved draw this time around. From a wide gate last time out, he was forced wide around the bend but still managed to make steady headway in the closing stages. He has dropped in the ratings and from gate 7, could feature in this shorter trip. CASIMIRO finished just behind the top selection last time out, when stepping up to this trip for the second time in his career. He had absolutely no luck in running on that occasion when having to check at the 300m marker before being hampered all the way through the 150m. He drops further in ratings and with Moreira up from an improved draw, he must be included. 

Race 6

Selections: 1 – 2 – 5 – 8 - 11
A tricky race to analyse, with most of the field either having no form or very little to go by. DANCING FIGHTER, a well-bred son of Zoustar, has been fancied in both of his impressive starts so far. He may be considered a touch unlucky last time, when Purton dropped his crop 100m from home, but he’s a progressive sort and should make amends today. ALLIED AGILITY had excuses last time out, after that impressive debut, when pulling up lame with a cut leg. The fact that he has featured prominently in the betting in both starts so far is telling and if bouncing back to his best this time, he looks a reasonable danger to the top selection. SUNSHINE UNIVERSE has been around for a while, having notched up 23 starts under his belt so far. His recent form over the course and distance has been good and with a bit more luck in running, he may have finished a lot closer last time out. The blinkers clearly sharpened him up in that run, but the traffic he encountered at the 300m mark did him no favours whatsoever. If finding his best form, he could find himself in the late charge for the winner’s box. WINNING TOGETHER finished 2 lengths behind the top selection in his penultimate start, but followed that up with a disappointing effort over the extra furlong in his subsequent effort. He gets a set of blinkers for this outing and that could make the difference. He still has scope and could represent some nice value for minor money.

Race 7

Selections:  6 – 3 – 4 – 9 – 5

MR CROISSANT is yet to miss the first three in all five of his starts to date and to add to that, all five efforts have been over this course and distance. He gets a much-improved draw today, after launching his latest challenge from a wide gate. After racing wide for much of that effort, he found himself boxed in at the 500m mark and managed to keep going to the line for a respectable 0.5l beating.  From gate 6 today, he gets the services of Zac Purton and he should be the one to beat. GOLDEN SIXTY has found firm betting support in three of his last four starts for good reason. He has managed to oblige on three occasions, taking his career record to three wins from four outings. He was a little too keen in his last start and that cost him in the finish, when just tiring in the latter stages. He has a tricky draw to negotiate today and it will take a lot of luck in running to avoid being caught deep mid-way through the bend, but if overcoming the draw, he should stay on nicely to throw his hat into the ring at the finish. HAPPY FUN was a surprise winner in his penultimate start and subsequently proved to his naysayers that it wasn’t all luck, having followed that up with a neck defeat last time out. It appears the change in tactics to take up the early running has been the key factor in his recent improvement and with the drop back to the 1200m today, he looks a big threat and the likely pace-setter once again. SHIMMER AND SHINE has been up there in the betting in his last three starts, but hasn’t quite gone on with his efforts. The blinkers seemed to sharpen him up last time out, but a lack of luck in running certainly hindered his chances of going closer. With Moreira up today, from a good draw, he must be considered.

Race 8

Selections: 8 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 1

BEAUTY SPIRIT lands a much-improved draw today after having little luck in that department in his last three starts, which resulted in him being caught wide on all three occasions. From pole, he should find it relatively easy to land the run of the race and that should stand him in good stead at the business end. He looks a big runner this time around. EASY GO EASY WIN has been showing improvement with each of his last three runs, as he has dropped in trip and in ratings. He lands a slightly improved draw this time around, after launching from gate 10 last time out and with Purton up today, he looks a big threat to the top selection. However, he is yet to finish closer than 3rd in four efforts over this trip. KING OPIE has been close-up in his last two starts, despite finding traffic on both occasions. He has been thereabouts in his six starts over the course and distance and with van Niekerk retaining the ride from gate 5 today, he looks a big runner. BUTTERFIELD is the unknown quantity in this line-up, as he makes his local debut after travelling all the way from Brazil. That said, he has racked up three Gr1 wins in his last three starts and if not too in need of the run after 10 months off, he could surprise. However, this trip could be a touch sharp for him. 

Race 9

Selections: 3 – 1 – 7 – 12 - 5

CLASSIC UNICORN is probably the quickest horse in the race and the question is not so much whether he will lead or not, but by how far he takes up the early running. The top weight retains the services of his claiming apprentice which will certainly help his cause. However, although he was unbalanced at a crucial stage of his last start, he still appears to be held by JING JING WIN who is the pick for the first prize. He rallied well over the final 250m last time out to finish 3rd at long odds. That was when dropping back to this course and distance and he looks a set for a big run again, with Purton up today. WINNING METHOD makes his handicap debut after winning his last two starts in Griffin company (A Griffin is a horse of two or three years of age which has been imported to Hong Kong without previously racing), over this course and distance. Both efforts were completed in a very competitive time and from a prominent early position, he looks well set up to mount a big challenge here. BEAUTY CHARISMA made solid improvement last time out, despite being hampered as he travelled through the 600m mark. He will be fitted with the tongue tie this time around and the lightly raced son of Statue Of Liberty looks a lively contender with plenty of scope for further improvement. 

Race 10

Selections: 9 – 14 – 5 – 1 – 8

MONGOLIAN LEGEND has certainly enjoyed dropping back to this trip, going on his immediate improvement three starts back. The continued drop in ratings can also be considered a contributing factor. He showed an encouraging turn of foot last time out, when finishing in front of the 13 and from an improved draw today he looks a threat with Moreira up. Although he is yet to win over this trip, his recent form turnaround could come to fruition today. TANGMERE has also been on the improve in recent times, most likely due the drop in ratings. He returns to the Sha Tin course today after his last three starts at Happy Valley and he will certainly benefit from landing a plum draw this time around. Not short of any guts or determination, this son of Frankel could make his presence felt at the business end. CORDYCEPS is ever the consistent sort and his prominence in the betting in his last few starts, is testament to this honest performer. He likes to race up with the early speed and that appears to be his most likely approach here, from a handy draw of 6. He is yet to win over this trip and may have a slight preference for the mile, but his handy running style could land him in the late scramble for the line. His conditioner may suggest that this is a prep run for as mile attempt somewhere in the near future, but he has the ability to feature in this line-up and must be respected. REGENCY BO BO looks the likely pace-maker from a tricky draw. He has dropped in the ratings and will be looking to make amends for his disappointing last start on the all-weather track. That was over an unfamiliar trip of 1650m against this class of opposition and he will surely be better suited to this slight drop in trip. If things go his way from gate 10, he could be tough to catch in the latter stages, so don’t discount his chances.

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